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Volume 26, Number 6 — June 2019

Lisa Alther headlines writers' symposium

Other workshop presenters include Amy Clark

May 28, 2014

Novelist Lisa Alther, a native of Kingsport, Tenn., headlines the 2014 Appalachian Heritage Writers' Symposium at Southwest Virginia Community College in Richlands, Va., June 13-14, and delivers the keynote address on how an Appalachian childhood nurtures future writers. The keynote address is held June 14 at noon.

Writers from throughout the Appalachian area convene at 8 a.m., for the annual conference, which features a variety of workshops on Friday, plus open mic sessions and manuscript reviews. On Saturday, creative writing exercises, a fiction workshop for all participants, and a midday banquet are followed by the keynote address and presentation of writing contest awards.

Also on Friday, June 13, from 4 to 5 p.m., there is a reception open to the public in the upstairs lobby of the King Community Center featuring book signings by the keynote speaker and other presenters.

Alther is the author of six novels, one novella, a volume of short stories, a memoir and a narrative history of the Hatfield-McCoy feud. Her books have been translated into 17 languages, and four have been New York Times bestsellers. The Kingsport native now divides her time between East Tennessee, Vermont and New York City.

In addition to the keynote address, Alther presents Saturday's fiction workshop entitled "Turning Anecdote into Fiction," how real-life occurrences can inspire a writer and how these events can be useful in the creation of fictional stories.

Other workshop topics and presenters include Writing Dialogue, Hazel Bostic; Appalachian Speak, Amy Clark; Playwright, M. C. "Skip" Crane; Poetry, Jane Hicks; Writing Children's Literature, Leigh Anne W. Hoover; Non-fiction, Delilah O'Haynes; Biography, Dr. H. Rondel Romburg; and Marketing, Colonel Charles Dahnmon Whitt.

Saturday morning creative writing exercises feature three topics: Good Beginnings, Timothy D. Holder; Point of View, Ramona Fletcher; and Conflict, Vicki Umbarger.

New this year is manuscript review, and the reviewers are Danny Dixon, non-fiction; Rebecca Elswick, fiction; and Greg Horn, poetry. Reviews will be limited to the first eight submissions in each category. For more information, contact Rachel Riggsby, 276-531-8596, The schedule of events and registration information can be found at

Amy Clark